Have you ever thought about how it might feel if you won the lottery? That amazing sense of knowing you can do or get anything you want? Well, having the opportunity to be a part of this transition gives me that feeling each time I meet with these 15 inspiring individuals. Being involved in their lives made me see a different part of myself which I never knew I had before. So I would like to begin by sharing with you a little bit of what these people have given me in just the few weeks I’ve worked with them in the program. They each reward me in different ways – some are talkative, funny, charismatic, while others are shy – but they all bring out the best in me. Since our main goal with the Skinny Gene Project is to prevent diabetes, I would like to share with you the stories of two of my patients that have experienced change with diabetes firsthand.
Rachel has been gaining weight for the past 3 years due to a thyroid problem. Doctors told her since this is very hard to control; she should monitor her weight for the years to come. When Rachel first met with me she was so discouraged, she would tell me, “I don’t want to continue gaining weight. My legs and back hurt. I want to play with my daughter while she is still young.” As her daughter grows up, Rachel wants to be able to keep up with the normal physical demands of being an active mom.
She was skeptical about being part of the Skinny Gene Program; she didn’t want to get her hopes up about losing weight. Her husband had just been diagnosed with diabetes and had been having very high blood sugar levels. I encouraged her and assured CHANGE was going to occur and for the better. She began to change her eating habits radically, and began exercising everyday encouraging her husband to do the same as well. The other day I received a phone call from Rachel and as I answered I heard “Nancy! I am at a clothing store and I now fit into a smaller size!” Having completed one month of the program, Rachel has now lost 6 pounds and has dropped 1 clothing size! Not only is she motivated, but as a result of her making healthier choices her husband has now been able to cut back on insulin since his blood sugar level is now under control. Rachel and her husband are now beginning to walk 3 miles each day at the park, while their daughter plays nearby. Not only is Rachel feeling better about herself, but her family is adapting to this new lifestyle by not only making a change, but starting to make it a habit.
Jessica is an older woman, who has recently been diagnosed with diabetes. Her doctor told her that if she controlled her blood sugar levels (which she has at 250 and 300); she might be able to get off insulin. During our first appointment, she was really depressed about being diagnosed with diabetes, which was a huge life changer for her. During the following weeks she began telling me, “I feel better every morning I wake up, knowing I am doing something for ME.” She had spent the last 30 or more years of her life concentrating on just working but not taking care of herself and what she needed. Jessica has been in the program for a month as well, she has lost 10 pounds and her blood sugar levels have dropped! If she continues with this progress, she will be able to get off insulin sooner than she’d thought! Jessica has been following the nutrition plans and has incorporated a little more walking into her daily lifestyle. This last appointment she told me, “I feel so much better; I have more energy throughout the day, and can finally accomplish my everyday tasks from start to finish.” She will continue to go to the doctor regularly and I will keep you updated on her progress.
These are only two of the stories of the marvelous people I work with, but I will keep you posted about each milestone that each of them reaches, or just comments or facts they have found interesting! But for now as the song says “I Feel Gooood!”
By Nancy Juarez- Skinny Gene Bilingual Nutritionist